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senate Bill S. Joint Res. 34

Should an FCC Rule Imposing Data Privacy Requirements on Internet Service Providers be Repealed?

Argument in favor

The FCC’s new regulation conflicts with Federal Trade Commission rules and doesn’t do anything new to protect consumer privacy and imposes new requirements that stifle innovation. They deny internet service providers the ability to use consumer data like other internet companies (like Google) to make money.

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03/23/2017
I'm totally in favor of protecting the individual's privacy, but let's solve this problem by increasing liberty rather than restricting it. Allow ISPs the legal opportunity to collect usage data. First of all, Google, Facebook, and the NSA are doing this on you already, so let's at least be consistent in the application of outrage over someone collecting data about our internet usage and history. Moving on, so now let's assume ISPs CAN collect usage data. WILL they? Sure, some will. And if it is important to you, as a consumer in a free market, to do business with an ISP that does NOT, well I bet you're not alone. I bet there's a market there that someone would be happy to cater to. At that point, under a free system, people who don't care can continue about their business with companies that have an extra way to create revenue that doesn't come from those consumers (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the opportunity to collect and sell usage data attracts new entrants into the market looking for that revenue stream, thereby increasing competition and lowering prices), and people who do care will do business with providers that cater to privacy. Not enough ISP competition in your area? Maybe the government should stop artificially restricting the ability of ISPs to compete through its mechanism of auctioning off exclusive regional provider contracts. No regulation required. What IS required is for consumers to be less mindless about what they're agreeing to. Take some personal responsibility about learning what you're signing up for.
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operaman's Opinion
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03/23/2017
Frankly, I feel strongly Yea and Nay. But this FCC rule happened on Obama's watch just prior to the primary and I'm all things negative on Obama. Thus I will support Senator Flake with a Yea.
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Matthew's Opinion
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03/23/2017
While I normally am against the seizure of private information without an official warrant, this would at least prevent internet service providers to be ability to unfairly profit
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Argument opposed

Killing the FCC’s privacy rule would leave consumers defenseless against abusive invasions of their privacy by their internet service provider which can include deeply personal data that’s then sold for a profit. This resolution is a step towards rolling back net neutrality rules and needs to be stopped so the rule can remain.

Kathryn 's Opinion
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03/23/2017
This is similar to the Post Office opening your mail and collecting data to sell. The ISPs have no right to this information.
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Dennise's Opinion
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03/23/2017
The job of Congress is to protect citizens, not line the pockets of businesses. Do your job and protect my privacy!
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Kristy's Opinion
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03/23/2017
I want my privacy. If you need access, get a warrant
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joint resolution Progress


  • EnactedApril 3rd, 2017
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed March 28th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 215 Yea / 205 Nay
  • The senate Passed March 23rd, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 50 Yea / 48 Nay
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    IntroducedMarch 7th, 2017

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What is Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 34?

This resolution would repeal a regulation put forward by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that limits broadband providers from accessing and collecting customer information, like app usage. web searches, and the content of communications. The rule was finalized by the Obama administration on October 27, 2016 and set to take effect in March 2017 before it was partially blocked by the FCC chairman.

The rule requires internet service providers (ISPs) to get an opt-in from consumers to use and share sensitive information including geo-location, financial information social security numbers, web browsing history, app usage history, and the content of communications. ISPs would be allowed to use non-sensitive information like email addresses or service tier information unless a consumer opted out.

Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress is able to overturn regulations finalized within the last 60 legislative days with simple majority votes on a joint resolution of disapproval in both chambers and the president’s signature. CRA resolutions also prevent the federal agency that created the regulation from issuing a similar rule without being directed to do so by Congress.

Impact

People who use the internet; internet service providers; and the FCC.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Joint Res. 34

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced this resolution to put a stop to “economically harmful broadband regulations” that were finalized during the final days of the Obama administration. Flake added in a press release:

“The FCC’s midnight regulation does nothing to protect consumer privacy. It is unnecessary, confusing and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the internet. My resolution is the first step toward restoring the FTC’s light-touch, consumer-friendly approach. It will not change or lessen existing consumer privacy protections. It empowers consumers to make informed choices on if and how their data can be shared.”

Senate Democrats have expressed their opposition to the bill, including Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), who said that consumers would be harmed if the FCC’s regulation was blocked:

“Many consumers are essentially captive to their [ISPs}. Many Americans across the country only have access to a couple ISPs to choose from and simply cannot change service providers if their privacy protections are not transparent or robust.”

This legislation has the support of 24 cosponsors in the Senate and was pulled out of committee before a vote occurred using a discharge petition.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: DeclanTM via Flickr / Creative Commons)

Official Title

A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to "Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services".

    I'm totally in favor of protecting the individual's privacy, but let's solve this problem by increasing liberty rather than restricting it. Allow ISPs the legal opportunity to collect usage data. First of all, Google, Facebook, and the NSA are doing this on you already, so let's at least be consistent in the application of outrage over someone collecting data about our internet usage and history. Moving on, so now let's assume ISPs CAN collect usage data. WILL they? Sure, some will. And if it is important to you, as a consumer in a free market, to do business with an ISP that does NOT, well I bet you're not alone. I bet there's a market there that someone would be happy to cater to. At that point, under a free system, people who don't care can continue about their business with companies that have an extra way to create revenue that doesn't come from those consumers (in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the opportunity to collect and sell usage data attracts new entrants into the market looking for that revenue stream, thereby increasing competition and lowering prices), and people who do care will do business with providers that cater to privacy. Not enough ISP competition in your area? Maybe the government should stop artificially restricting the ability of ISPs to compete through its mechanism of auctioning off exclusive regional provider contracts. No regulation required. What IS required is for consumers to be less mindless about what they're agreeing to. Take some personal responsibility about learning what you're signing up for.
    Like (64)
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    This is similar to the Post Office opening your mail and collecting data to sell. The ISPs have no right to this information.
    Like (1329)
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    The job of Congress is to protect citizens, not line the pockets of businesses. Do your job and protect my privacy!
    Like (953)
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    I want my privacy. If you need access, get a warrant
    Like (693)
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    Please vote nay. Our privacy has been under attack for years and this is one ruling that helps protect it.. Do not repeal.
    Like (363)
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    It's MY data and MY privacy. This is a sellout to corporate America.
    Like (266)
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    You (ISPs) are not Google. First problem; even if you opt out, the information that they would be selling is still being collected in the background, which is an invasion of privacy. At least with Google, if you don't like this fact you can easily leave their eco-system. On the other hand, it is not as easy to leave an ISP. Second problem; as an example, I have access to only (2) ISPs where I currently live, which handcuffs me if I don't like how one/both are conducting business. Third problem; while Google does collect and is a part of our everyday devices, our ISPs are at the heart of connection to our devices. It's not browser history that concerns me, its the information that is typically cutoff from access (with the exceptions of hacking). They could collect data from my smart home equipment, transference of files within my home intranet/cloud systems, security information or footage within the confines of my local network, etc. I would normally be able to disconnect these processes from data mining that Google does, however, I don't believe it would be safe from an ISP. Your ISP is and should remain a one-way street, do not vote for opt-in hacking.
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    This oligarchy has no business in my personal data without my specific permission Privacy is one of my constitutional rights!
    Like (159)
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    This an egregious breach of citizen privacy. I fully expect that you will protect the rights of citizens to privacy and oppose this repeal.
    Like (127)
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    1984 has arrived with the Trump regime.
    Like (124)
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    ISP's should not be allowed to gather and disseminate, sell or in any way profit from what is, in essence, private data. We don't allow the post office to open and read/copy/disseminate the content of our mail nor do we allow telephone/cellular providers to listen in on our private conversations for their pleasure or profit. ISP's are no different! This is not Russia (yet)!! “Senate Republicans just made it easier for Americans’ sensitive information about their health, finances and families to be used, shared and sold to the highest bidder without their permission,” said Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat of Massachusetts.
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    I think it'll be an eye opener to see if your state representative votes in favor of repealing this bill... The only question after that is how much did they take from corporate lobbyists pushing their own private agenda?
    Like (75)
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    ISP's should not be allowed to gather and disseminate, sell or in any way profit from what is, in essence, private data. We don't allow the post office to open and read/copy/disseminate the content of our mail nor do we allow telephone/cellular providers to listen in on our private conversations for their pleasure or profit. ISP's are no different!
    Like (60)
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    At a time when there are massive data breaches nearly every day. Tradeoffs between security, privacy and profit should be very carefully considered. The protection of privacy is critical to trust and the healthy functioning of a democracy. Let's be careful here folks.
    Like (51)
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    Frankly, I feel strongly Yea and Nay. But this FCC rule happened on Obama's watch just prior to the primary and I'm all things negative on Obama. Thus I will support Senator Flake with a Yea.
    Like (45)
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    Facebook makes millions of dollars a day selling your personal information. I am not a product.
    Like (35)
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    People who are saying that ISPs should be able to do this because services like Facebook and Google already collect this information are missing the fundamental difference between what these companies are. Facebook and Google offer their services for free so that they can sell advertising. We are not the customer, we are the product. An ISP gets paid by me, and therefore they ought to be obligated to protect my interests.
    Like (33)
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    The default setting for our privacy should always be, someone must clearly ask to invade it. Not the current trend of permission is implied or we have to ask in writing to stop the invasion.
    Like (29)
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    Internet privacy must be maintained if we wish to retain our democracy. Government and corporations have enough access to our personal lives in their freedom to advertise and manufacture consent. We need to retain what limited ability we have to act independently among ourselves or we will have none at all!
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    Every American has the right to privacy
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